Re: New Name: HUMOR

Subject: Re: New Name: HUMOR
From: Steve English <ink -at- MICROS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 May 1995 13:11:11 -0400

From: Michael Johnson
Subject: New Name

I am thinking seriously of changing my name. You may not think so, but mine
is very common, and it causes me grief to no end.

I constantly get tangled up in judgements, credit reports, private eyes
looking for back child support, tax liens, paternity suits, and other good
stuff thanks to some other Mike Johnson. Yes, one of the locals has even
been in the state pen. Luckily, things get cleared up when folks check
social security numbers, but it is still a major hassle.

I am appealing to the collective genius of TECHWR-L to help me find a new
handle. I'd like one that's easy to say, easy to spell and (if possible)
I'd like to be the only one in the phone book--even if I move to NYC.


Gosh, am I glad somebody finally asked my opinon on this subject. I think I
have some ability in this arena, and it grieves me to know so many names
are changed every year without the benefit of my expertise. If it had been
up to me, for example, that kid who had his name legally changed to "Trout
Fishing in America" would have been named after a whole other book, or maybe
even one of your major encyclopedias.


Now, as I write this, I imagine you're probably being bombarded with messages
from sincere, impassioned and so, so, EARNEST correspondents urging you not
to change your name. They'll probably play on sentiment more than anything
else, telling you to think of the feelings of your father, your grandfather,
etc., before tampering with the family name. May I be the first to point out
that these guys weren't thinking of YOU twenty-odd years ago, or they'd have
saved you a lot of pain and suffering by naming you "Hyperion Johnson", or
something equally unmistakeable. That's the kind of name that makes an
UNFORGETTABLE impression on the playground.

But if I were you, I would tell the nay-sayers that if the sanctity of your
birth certificate is so important to them, THEY can be responsible for sorting
through your mail from now on.


Some of your detractors will suggest you use legal action to find a way out
of your predicament. They may even go so far as to mention that, for a small
fee, you could file your own nuisance suit against every investigator, bill
collector, etc., who fails to exercise due diligence in the performance of
his duties, thereby earning you a reputation among their ilk as
Michael "the suing" Johnson, which, if it spread wide enough, would get these
vultures to leave you alone.

Ha! I applaud the patriotic stance you have chosen as an alternative. Simply
explain to those who suggest this course that, as a loyal American who is
deeply concerned about the issue of tort reform, you refuse to contribute
frivolous lawsuits to our overburdened legal system, and have elected
instead to pursue changing your name through our overburdened legal system.


While no one can or should tell you exactly which new name to choose, I can
offer you a few pointers, culled from the file I have been keeping for just
such an occasion. Consider the following list a Cliff Notes approach to names,
intended not so much to give you the knowledge you need as to get you through
the excersize with a minimum of thought. As a bonus-- I know this point is
important to you-- very few of these occur in the NYC phone book.

Not that I've looked, I just have a feeling.



CHOICE BETTER CHOICE
------------------------ -------------------------------------------
Michael Johnson N. T. M. Johnson (Not That Michael Johnson)

O.J. Simpson Bart Simpson

Kato Johnson Tonto Johnson

Michael English Steve English

Trout Fishing in America Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
(tie)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat

Camilla Parker-Bowles Camilla I

Vince Putnam Kreega, Attack Dog of the Techwhirlers

Bud Selig Anything Else

Madonna Johnson Johnson Envy

Clark Johnson Superman

Boutros Boutros-Ghali Boutros Boutros-Johnson

Don Johnson Mr. Melanie Griffith

Dalton, Timothy Dalton Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan

Adolf Johnson Richard Milhous Johnson

Torquemada Torqued Off

The Artist Formerly
Known as Michael Johnson Prince

Senator Alfonse D'Amato #467290572439

R.J. Reynolds Johnson & Johnson

John Wayne Johnson (nope, forget it-- too easy)


And lastly, from the "It Could Be Worse" Department,

Michael Jackson Michael Johnson



If you want to have some REAL fun with this project, petition the court
to have your name changed to "Lee Pierre" on February 29, 1996. (Take
your time, it'll come to you.)

Okay, parting shot, and this one's half-serious: John Michaelson.


Good Luck,

Steve English

I do not speak for my employer, though they would probably be better off.

Attention, Tech-Whirlers: Atrophied sense of the absurd? Send flames to -
ink -at- micros -dot- com


Closing number courtesy of Arlo Guthrie, circa 1980:

I am changing my name to 'Chrysler',
I am heading down to Washington, DC.
I will tell some power brokah
What they did for Iacocca
Will be perfectly acceptable to me.

I am changing my name to 'Chrysler',
I am heading for that great receiving line
When they hand that hundred grand out
I'll be standing with my hand out--
Buddy, I'll get mine!


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